THREAT REMOVAL

iMovie Start Redirect — How to Remove it

how to remove iMovie Start redirect stf

This article aims to help you with the removal of iMovie Start redirect from the affected PC and browsers.

The iMovie Start redirect is a dangerous browser extension that is compatible with the most popular web browsers. It is classified as a generic malware that can easily be customized to include different kinds of functionality. The collected samples so far showcase typical browser hijacker behavior that redirects the users to a hacker-controlled site. Personal data can be retrieved from the browsers and the operating system and further malware infections can be caused. Threats like the iMovie Start redirect can lead to Trojan instances and ransomware processes in certain cases. If you already have iMovie Start redirect on your PC, it’s better to remove it.

Threat Summary

Name iMovie Start
Type Browser Hijacker, PUP
Short Description The hijacker can change the homepage, search engine and new tab on each browser installed on the compromised machine.
Symptoms The homepage, new tab and search engine of affected browsers will be switched to iMovie Start. You will be redirected and could see sponsored content.
Distribution Method Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages
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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss iMovie Start.

iMovie Start – Distribution

The iMovie Start is compatible with all popular web browsers including the following: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Safari and Opera. There are several methods that the hackers can use to distribute the dangerous iMovie Start redirect. Some of them are the following:

  • Malware Downloads — The hacker operators can bundle the dangerous iMovie Start redirect code into ordinary software installers. They are usually taken from the official vendors and changed to include the virus code. In some cases the users may have the ability to disallow the infections by unchecking certain options during the installation process.
  • Web Scripts — Various pop-ups, redirects and dangerous ads can engage in browser behavior that can trigger the iMovie start malware installation.
  • Repositories — The plugin repositories operated by the major browsers have already been infiltrated by several iMovie Start redirect instances. They claim to be useful extensions that add new functionality to the applications.
  • Other Malware Delivery — The iMovie Start redirect can be distributed using other viruses as part of their behavior pattern.

One of the discovered iMovie Search redirects is active on the Chrome Web Store and at the time of writing this article can still be retrieved from it.

Browser hijackers like the iMovie Search redirect are a popular way of infecting computer users. The reason for this is the fact that it solely depends on the users actions. Only in rare cases these kind of infections are delivered through methods other than manual user interventions. Furthermore these kind of threats are easy to program as the hacker underground communities provide a lot of information such as tutorials, guides and starter kits.

iMovie Start – In Depth Analysis

One of the first actions that the iMovie Start redirect does are the basic browser changes. The malware engine changes the default home page, search engine and new tabs page in order to redirect to the main hacker-controlled home page. As the infections begin from browsers the hackers can gain access to all sorts of sensitive information including the following:

  • Cookies
  • Form Data
  • Bookmarks
  • History
  • Preferences
  • Account credentials and passwords

Once the iMovie Start has infiltrated the computer it can cause other malicious activities. Depending on its exact configuration it can institute a Trojan component upon the victims which automatically starts to spy on the users. All of their activities is tracked and relayed to the operators. It can log all keystrokes and mouse movement to log files and also allow for arbitrary commands execution. Trojan viruses have the ability to take over control of the infected hosts and as such are a popular tool for creating botnet networks.

Bear in mind that browser hijackers can lead to crypto currency miners. They utilize the computer’s available hardware resources to compute intensive tasks in order to generate profit for the attackers. There are two main types — malware modules that operate only when the browser instance run or stand-alone applications that infect the operating system itself and are a persistent threat.

The iMovie Search redirect is made by a company called ienjoyapps which doesn’t clearly state its owners. They provide a generic email address hosted on a free email host (Yahoo) which should alarm the victims. Some of the dangerous security and privacy consequences are outlined in the privacy policy and terms of service documents.

They are related to the fact that the iMovie Search redirect automatically starts to gather sensitive information. There are two main types of information that are outlined:

  • Personally Identifiable Data — This type of information refers to strings and values that can expose the victims identity. Examples include names, adresses, emails, phone numbers, preferences and account credentials.
  • Anonymous Metrics — This information is made up mainly of details about the host computer, installed applications and further data that is used for statistical purposes.

The victims can mainly interact with the iMovie Search redirect by activating a button installed next to the top search bar. According to the operators this allows the users to more easily discover data about certain titles. However it merely distracts their attention from the above-mentioned malware operations. A further look on the site reveals that the hijacker is part of a larget network of affiliate addons and utilites. All of them are distributed and operate in a similar way. At the time of writing this article some of the instances are the following:

  • iMusic Search — Easily search the web for FREE unlimited music, song, full albums, music videos.
  • iGames Search — Easily search the web for FREE unlimited games.
  • Online Hash Generator — This is a tool that can take the string of any length and encode it into any type of hash via various algorithms. This encoding is unidirectional and there are no ways you can encode the string back.
  • Online Calculator — This is a calculator that will help you to do the complex calculations like extracting the roots, trigonometric functions, logarithms, percentages, etc.
  • Online Currency Calculator — This is an online tool developed to help you with exchange rates of currency calculation.

In order to fool the victims into thinking that this is a legitimate tool the hacker operators have set created elaborate descriptions and even a Facebook community page. On a closer look it is made up of a small number of users which are mostly probably either hacker-created fake accounts or hacked profiles. On the home page there is also the “Advertise” option which opens up a contact form. It clearly shows that the hackers intentions are to share the gathered information for profit.

iMovie Start – Privacy Policy

In fact, there is no Privacy Policy section on iMovie Start homepage and the lack of any is yet another sign that iMovie Start is a shady website that should be removed as soon as it is noticed on the PC. Otherwise, it may lead to privacy theft and severe malware intrusions.

It may be assumed that iMovie Start browser hijacker obtains both personally and non-personally identifiable information such as:

  • Email address
  • IP address
  • Home address (mailing address)
  • Search queries and all data you type in searches
  • Search data and specifics of searches
  • URLs and clicks
  • Browser type
  • Your name
  • Your geographic location
  • Your ISP (Internet Search Provider)
  • Communications preferences
  • Operating System (and other related data)

By using the iMovie Start’s services you give its owners your permission to collect information about you and your online habits. The collected information may be disclosed to third party entities and partners of the owners.

How to Remove iMovie Start Redirect

You can remove iMovie Start redirect by following the step-by-step removal instructions provided below. Have in mind that sometimes the manual removal approach may not be enough to eliminate completely the hijacker. So be advised to run a scan with an advanced anti-malware tool to locate all leftovers and then easily delete them with a few mouse clicks. Furthermore, having installed anti-malware tool guarantees the prevention of future malware infections.

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Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

How to Remove iMovie Start from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove iMovie Start

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall iMovie Start and related software from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by iMovie Start on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by iMovie Start there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for iMovie Start with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of iMovie Start from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall iMovie Start and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to iMovie Start:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to iMovie Start. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to iMovie Start. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove iMovie Start via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as iMovie Start. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove iMovie Start from Google Chrome.


Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu


Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"


Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase iMovie Start from Mozilla Firefox.

Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window


Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.


Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall iMovie Start from Microsoft Edge.


Step 1: Start Edge browser.


Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.


Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".


Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.


Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove iMovie Start from Safari.


Step 1: Start the Safari app.


Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.


Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the iMovie Start will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate iMovie Start from Internet Explorer.


Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.


Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'


Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.


Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.


Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.


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